MAR 2019

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42 @dayspamagazine • March 2019 venal, nerve, lymph and chÕulel (Mayan for "life force")—improving organ function and minimizing symptoms of dysfunction. Like many alternative therapies, there aren't a lot of scientifi c studies that affi rm (or refute) its health benefi ts, but plenty of people swear by its effectiveness. Women are increasingly turning to Arvigo Maya massage to help ease a variety of female problems and symptoms, including uterine prolapse, unexplained infertility, irregular or painful periods, frequent urination, and pelvic pain associated with endometriosis, fi broids or cysts. Kim Bachmann, certifi ed Arvigo massage therapist at Urban Oasis Massage Therapy Spa in Chicago, sees about 5 to 10 clients a month for this treatment, and the majority of them come in for concerns associated with reproductive health. Bachmann's clients report a range of benefi ts, including more regular, less painful periods as well as increased libido. Although the modality principally centers on women, it can also help relieve some male problems, including low testosterone levels, certain impotence issues and perhaps even prostate swelling—if started early enough. "Once the prostate is enlarged, massage can't do much," says Torns-Barker. "But if we can improve the fi ve systems of fl ow, we can keep those organs healthy and hopefully prevent infl ammation from happening." Arvigo techniques may also improve stomach issues in both women and men. "I'm seeing people suffering from diverticulitis who are trying to prevent another attack by keeping their digestive system as healthy as possible," says Torns-Barker. "Some of my clients experience indigestion and pain when they eat, and nothing else is working so they want to try this." Arvigo abdominal therapy is not for everyone, however. Marcia Lopez, owner and massage therapist at True Healing Bodywork in Los Angeles, cautions that it's typically contraindicated in early pregnancy and after abdominal surgery, as well as for people with certain cancers and IUDs. "Everyone should follow the advice of their medical practitioner," she advises. A TYPICAL SESSION Arvigo massage always begins with an in-depth health history intake, whether in person or via telephone. "I require a 20- to 30-minute phone consultation before guests come in," explains Torns-Barker. "I fi nd out what they know and don't know, and help them get up to speed. I want people feeling comfortable when they walk in the door." The client then lies back, partially or fully undressed, and the therapist palpitates the abdominal area, gently but thoroughly seeking to soften tight areas, reduce puffi ness, reposition organs, dissipate blockages and increase the systems of fl ow. The practitioner may also massage the lower back, hips and sacrum to loosen muscles around the lumbar plexus, as well as tendons attached to the sacrum and uterus for female clients. As the session comes to a close, therapists teach self-care massage techniques to enhance the treatment and empower guests to proactively manage their symptoms. Because each problem—and body—is different, so is the length of time it can take to see results. A single visit may resolve an issue, or multiple sessions may be required. Lopez opts to combine Arvigo Maya massage with complementary modalities, such as cranial sacral therapy, acupressure or reiki, to create a more profound session and speed benefi cial ALTERNATIVE HEALTH © GETTY IMAGES "If we can improve the fi ve systems of fl ow, we can keep organs healthy and hopefully prevent infl ammation."

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